By Andile Mngxitama
Yesterday, black people in South Africa decisively lost and whites won hands down. Congratulations to the pro-white Democratic Alliance (DA) and the extreme right wing Freedom Front Plus (FF+). The irony of this situation is that the South African parliament is predominantly black.
Historically, settler white monopoly capital in South Africa has two factions. The finance, manufacturing and mining faction is English dominated while land is dominated by the Afrikaner faction. In parliament yesterday both the English dominated finance, manufacturing and mining faction as well as the Afrikaner dominated land faction of settler white monopoly capital, emerged victorious.
Finance capital has been pushing for the FICA Bill to be passed in its current form so that banks can become law unto themselves – the same banks which have been found to have been nothing else but criminal gangs involved in systematic corruption concerning billions of rands.
The President of the country returned the Bill to the National Assembly to be improved on. The pro-finance capital faction led by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan and supported by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), secured the Bill for finance capital. Banks have been given a blank cheque to continue looting.
The EFF has been quiet on the issue of the banks and their crimes to a point of refusing to occupy ABSA even when evidence was provided to show how it benefited from the theft of public money. The banks must be smiling that the FICA Bill still gives them power over our lives and parliament said yes to it.
Will President Zuma sign it into law? This is the question now!
Evidently, finance capital won with the help of the EFF while the land thieves won with the help of the ANC caucus. In this context, the ANC caucus is accused by some for having conspired to give the EFF a new lease on life as champions of the land struggle, by sabotaging President Zuma.
It is not a secret that the Chief Whip of the majority party, Jackson Mthembu, is a supporter of Cyril Ramaphosa for President. Furthermore, Mthembu is on record for saying that President Zuma must go.
It would appear that Mthembu used the land debate to get back at President Zuma by marshalling the ANC caucus to reverse the massive policy pronouncement gains by the President. Mthembu engineered a vote against the EFF motion on land to spite President Zuma and to strengthen his ideological alliance partners who also want the President gone.
The “good cop/bad cop” modus operandi was followed to achieve this.
The EFF proposed, the ANC caucus opposed and land thieves won! The irony of this, of course, is the fact that in reality the EFF is in a political alliance with the DA in the metros – the DA being the same party of land thieves.
A calculus of gains and loses would show that the actual victors of the parliamentary processes yesterday are not black people, but rather white people. By approving the FICA Bill and blocking the motion to bring policy in line with the President’s call, parliament served white capital at the expense of the interests of blacks.
Yesterday, things could have turned out quite differently for blacks. If the ANC caucus was not anti-Zuma and had any sense of the national mood on the land question, it would have followed the political direction given by President Zuma.
The ANC caucus should have accepted the motion to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to realise land expropriation without compensation. It matters little whether the motives of the EFF were not pure. The main preoccupation is the return of the land as per the political instructions by the President of the country. But for the ANC caucus, sabotaging President Zuma was more important than land return without compensation.
The most interesting byproduct of these battles amongst blacks is that they did all the work for the DA and the FF+. The white opposition parties didn’t have to sweat – the black parties which are an overwhelming majority in parliament did all the work for whites. It can be said with some justification that the interests of blacks are not represented in parliament right now.
Since parliament in its current form and representation has proven to be anti-black, the struggle for land and the transformation of the economy must now be pursued outside parliament. The fight against banks and for land accordingly shifts away from parliament to the streets.
Andile Mngxitama is the National Convener of Black First Land First